A loss for FC Gold Pride isn’t disappointing; it’s normal.

I want to preface this entry by thanking the friend that went with me to today’s game. Not just because soccer is not her thing, but because she ended up having to drive us in my car. My team lost and we both probably got sunburned. I appreciate that she went along and helped me feel comfortable enough to get growly at the end.

Over the years, I have developed a ritual with games that usually involves arriving an hour before kickoff, staking out a seat, scoping out the stadium, watching warm-ups, switching seats at least once during the first half, wandering at the start of the second, and finding a new seat during the second if I don’t just decide to stay on my feet. Today, we were “late” (my fault) and completely missed warm-ups. There was also some kind of snag at the ticket booth, but it’s interesting to note that the Athletica takes credit or debit! Is $15 general admission still the cheapest in the league? Also, a question: why does Athletica charge $10 for parking when there are so many free options nearby?

Obviously, there is not a whole lot I can say about the game since I wasn’t taking notes (I usually do). I was surprised that Kaley Fountain got the start over Becky Edwards. I wasn’t unhappy, though. They both got to play and did decently. It’s hard to say who performed better–Edwards earned the yellow card, but Fountain did not. Depends on how you take that. I was happy with Edwards’ yellow because we were at that point in the game where FCGP needed to show they were still awake and on earth. Thanks for your efforts, Edwards.

I thought Ali Riley had a good game and is clearly WPS-ready. I think the backline was sorely missing Carrie Dew, though. I was incredibly disappointed with the forwards. During introductions, I commented to my friend that Aluko is the only one that can really score for Saint Louis. Sure, I was being snarky, but ain’t that the truth? It was today.

I saw some good possession and good, connecting passes all over the field for the Pride, but barely any reason for Solo to earn her pay. You have Marta, O’Hara, Milbrett, Sinclair, and Abily, and you let them make runs one at a time without support? Something is wrong there. Especially when the forwards disappear for long minutes at a stretch. Bosio came in for Milbrett late in the second half and put in decent minutes. Kelley O’Hara did score (off a throw in, I think) in the final minute, but the ref called it offsides. I really should not need to rehash WPS reffing for anyone; it hasn’t changed. The only good that comes of it is that Marta throws temper tantrums, and that’s good entertainment.

I am pretty sure the weather report said it was supposed to be in the upper 70s today, but it was easily 85 out there. My friend asked me whether that could have factored into FCGP’s loss, since Saint Louis has been really fortunate weather-wise this year. But I don’t think so. FCGP didn’t look fatigued or emotionally worn like they did last year. The team looked good, except for the forwards. And we had to wonder–inconclusively–whether FCGP will suffer from their poor preseason schedule. Probably not, right? Because a loss for the Bay is normal.

So, as an FC Gold Pride fan, I have to say this was a good game. O’Hara did score. The team showed that they were capable of passing! I feel good about the possibilities for this team. I’ve been a fan of Bay Area teams for long enough to know that, sometimes, you do have to bank on possibilities. Be patient, say a prayer every night for the players’ ACLs, if they still have their ligaments.

Speaking of ligaments, I took a chance on trying to talk to Kiki Bosio after the game even though my friend and I both had things we need to get done tonight. I pulled my usual “Can I talk to you about the Broncos?” as I do with SCU alumni, and I appreciate that the Bronco graduates I have talked to are willing to fill me in on their college team. Apparently it’s not a mistake that Poach is still listed on SCU’s roster. She could still play for them in the fall, since she hasn’t played in the WPS. If she’s healthy, she might even play with the U-23s. Lindsey Johnson is definitely taking her red shirt eligibility. Yay!

I tried to express my happiness over how well SCU did last year, and in that final game against Stanford–and I’m sorry, Bosio, I got caught up in that and didn’t tell you that I’m glad you’re in the league and got minutes today. But hey, thanks for being patient and indulgent. You’ve always been one of my favorite Broncos.

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